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EgyptAir flight hijacked, most passengers freed

Plane was heading from Alexandria to Cario with 81 passengers on board. Sources say plane was Airbus 320

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Mar 29 2016 12:10PM | Updated Date: Mar 29 2016 2:56PM

EgyptAir flight hijacked, most passengers freed

EgyptAir plane was hijacked on Tuesday and later landed in Cyprus, four foreign passengers and the crew were released, authorities said.


Airbus 320 was on its way from Alexandria to Cairo when a passenger claiming to be armed with explosives t forced it to fly to Larnaca in southern Cyprus, EgyptAir said.


Hijackerhad acted due to "personal reasons", media reports said.


An unconfirmed report said the passenger may be seeking asylum.


There were contradictory reports on the number of passengers and crew on board. Initial reports put the number at 81. But MENA news agency said the Flight 181 carried 56 passengers and eight crew on board.


Passengers included 30 Egyptians and 26 foreignersairport officials in Alexandria were quoted as saying.


Shortly after it landed in Larnaca, almost all the passengers were let off. Videos showed them deboarding. 


EgyptAir said negotiations had resulted in the release of the passengers.


The Egyptian aviation ministry had earlier said the hijacker had threatened to detonate an explosives belt, forcing the captain to divert the flight to Cyprus.